If you’re looking for a new air conditioner, or you think your AC unit might be on its way out, you may find yourself searching “how long do air conditioners last?”
In this post, we’ll explore the lifespan of an air conditioner, along with things you can do to make your air conditioner last longer.
How Long Do Air Conditioners Last? The Lifespan of an Air Conditioner
So, how long do air conditioners last? While an air conditioner can last anywhere between 10 and 15 years, there are so many variables that can lengthen or shorten the average. Ultimately, an air conditioner’s lifespan is influenced mostly by its owner.
The amount of use the air conditioner is put through will also either subtract or add years to its lifespan. If, for example, you live in a warmer state and you need to have your air conditioner running all day, every day of the spring and summer, the unit won’t last as long.
Realistically, it’s being used so much that it’ll likely develop system fatigue, and need replacing far quicker than an air conditioner in cooler states.
Plus, if an air conditioner owner dedicates some time to routine air conditioner maintenance, it’s likely to last a lot longer. If you look after your objects, they’ll thrive and live up to their maximum lifespan. If not, you can cut the number of years it could last in half.
How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Air Conditioner
So, now we know that your air conditioner could last anywhere between 10 and 15 years, it’s time to learn how to increase the lifespan of your AC unit.
We’ve got 4 top tips to keep your air conditioner working well and for a longer period:
Schedule Two Tune-Ups Per Year
Generally speaking, we tend to act once there’s already a problem. That also extends to air conditioner maintenance. For many of us, we call experts once the machine has broken.
However, to make the most out of your A/C unit, you should schedule routine tune-ups. For the best results, you need only schedule two tune-ups per year. Not only does this increase the lifespan of your air conditioning, but you’ll also be able to reduce your energy bills and find any problems before they become serious.
Let Your Air Conditioner Rest
Here’s something that will not shock you, but it needs to be said: The more you use your air conditioner, the less time it will last.
As we said, it’s not particularly shocking. But it is a fact.
You should try to prevent system fatigue all you can. That means not having your system on all day and night, as it’ll run into the ground before you know it. And air conditioners aren’t exactly an inexpensive replacement.
So, you’ll want to turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house for any amount of time. Turn your thermostat to 5 degrees at a minimum. This will allow your unit to remain on without actively cooling the air around you. Then, turn your thermostat back up during the nighttime.
Regularly Check and Change the Air Filter
If you’re looking for ways to make your air conditioner last longer, don’t forget this little hack. It takes only a few moments and can prevent a major breakdown in the hardware.
Change the air filters every 30-60 days, and routinely inspect their condition. By making this simple change, you’ll enjoy improved efficiency, a decrease in your energy costs, and an overall healthier air conditioner that will last considerably longer.
It’s important to keep up with this routine. Perhaps set an alarm or note it down on your calendar. Just a small change can cause big differences.
Landscape Around Your Condenser
Your air conditioning condenser works best when it’s situated in the shade. If there’s too much sun shining on it, it can cause it to struggle in the heat. That can lead to breakdowns pretty quickly.
Until it breaks, you’ll find that your energy bills are sky-high. This is because, when an air conditioning machine is in the sun, the heated hardware demands more energy to function. This not only leads to burnout, but it could quickly burn a hole in your wallet.
So, to rectify this, landscape around the condenser and surround it with shade. Be careful not to place plants on top or too close to the unit, as they can grow into it and harm its efficiency.
How to Know Whether You Need to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Following our tips about how to make your air conditioner last longer will increase the lifespan of your unit. However, as with everything, it won’t last forever. Eventually, it’ll need to be replaced.
But how do you know when you need to replace your air conditioner? Here are some signs that you need to buy a new air conditioner:
Your Energy Bills Are Too High
You may be using your air conditioner as normal and there are no signs that there’s anything wrong. It’s kicking out cold air, there’s no flames or smoke like in the cartoons, and you’re satisfied with the results. But then your energy bill comes, and it startles you into the next century.
Sometimes, we need to be detectives. If your energy bill is sky high, despite there being nothing seemingly wrong with your air conditioner, it’s likely that the system is overworking.
Before you throw in the towel and replace your air conditioner, try giving the filters one last change and clean out the air vents. If your next energy bill comes and it’s still soaring, look at your condensing coil and check for any knots or lumps. If there are none, it’s a clear sign that your air conditioner has come to the end of its operating life.
Fixing your air conditioner every now and again is fine. But, if you’re at a point where it needs frequent repairs, it can end up being more costly than buying a new air conditioner entirely.
If you’ve followed our air conditioner maintenance tips and increased the lifespan of your air conditioning unit, then it’s probably down to old age. With any hardware, old age can cause the unit to break down and crash. So, stop spending your money on repairs and buy your home a new air conditioner.
Your Home Is Too Humid
A key benefit of an operating air conditioner is that it gets rid of the humidity from inside your home. However, if the air conditioner has a faulty condenser unit or a broken fan, you’ll feel a clear increase in humidity. You can see this easily by looking for any condensation on your windows, too.
Essentially, if you can feel that the inside of your home is hotter than the outdoors, it’s time to scrap your current air conditioner and replace it.
Your AC Unit Still Uses R-22 Freon
If you (or the previous owners) have been using an air conditioner that is now 10 or more years old, it’s probably using R22 as its freon. So, what’s the problem? Why is R-22 Freon bad?
Well, R22-Freon was, and continues to be, banned in the United States. Why? Because it damages the ozone layer dramatically. This devastating impact is harming our planet considerably. If it leaks, the spillage is highly toxic, and it does so much more harm than good.
If it’s confirmed that your AC unit still uses R-22 Freon, it’s time for removal and replacement. It’s likely that your air conditioner was close to the end of its lifespan anyway, so you’ll need to replace it soon enough. Plus, you’ll be helping to save our planet.
Want to know whether your AC unit is on its way out, or perhaps you just want a general air conditioning maintenance check? Book an appointment with the professionals here at ASI.
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